Longing for Jesus
A devotional thought from Jonathan Leeman for “Wisdom”
Song of Songs 2:8: “Listen! My love is approaching. Look! Here he comes, leaping over the mountains, bounding over the hills.”
All the beloved’s senses are engaged in anticipation of the lover. She listens. She looks. And when he’s close enough, no doubt, she’ll smell, touch, and taste. She is enthralled. The lover’s approach is likewise enthusiastic. He leaps and he bounds. He is energetic and giddy.
The approach of love is like this. You feel it inside, like a velvety heat running through your veins and warming your skin. Your stomach rises and falls with a roller coaster’s swoops. Dare we call it magical? The Song of Songs is filled with such magical kingdom talk. We hear of apricots and ripening figs, gazelles and henna blossoms, kisses and bedchambers.
Why is love’s approach so powerful? And why does Scripture dare indulge these faculties? The Song of Songs is a love poem, not an allegory about something else. But the whole Bible teaches that God has given us romantic love and marital sexual intimacy to teach us about something else, namely, Christ’s love for the church (see Eph. 5:22-32). Sex is the closest thing we have for grasping what the joy of union with Him will be like. It’s humanity’s best analogy, even if it’s only a dim shadow of the real thing. This is why Jesus says marriage will end at the resurrection (Matt. 22:30). You stop playing in the shadows when you have the substance.
Are you single and craving intimacy? Are you married and contented? Whether craving or contented, let these desires train you to look for and listen for this greater union. “Both the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ Anyone who hears should say, ‘Come!’” (Rev. 22:17). To which Jesus responds, “Yes, I am coming quickly!” (22:20).
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
Pause and Reflect
• Do you long for Christ’s coming? What worldly desires crowd out this longing? Meditate on Psalm 63 and ask God to grow such love in you.
• How does Song of Songs 2:8 remind you of God’s pursuing love for us?